CUPE is joining the OFL and other labour organizations in asking for donations to support the families of the migrant workers killed in the horrific highway crash that left 11 people dead and three more seriously injured.
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and the Agriculture Workers Alliance (AWA) have set up a Migrant Workers Family Support Fund to help support the families of the workers.
You can donate through PayPal or a direct bank transfer at ufcw.ca/familysupportfund.
Ten migrant agricultural workers were killed when the van transporting them from a jobsite was struck by an oncoming truck. The driver of the truck was also killed. The crash occurred just a few hundred metres from the poultry farm where the men had been working.
CUPE National President Paul Moist expressed condolences to the families of the victims, and asked CUPE members to offer their support.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims,” said Moist. “It’s terrible tragedy. I hope CUPE members will consider donating to assist these families.”
CUPE has made a $2,000 contribution.
Moist also spoke about the need to ensure that migrant workers receive the same protections under the law as other workers in Canada.
“Migrant agricultural workers lack many of the most basic health and safety protections under the law. They often face serious language barriers and lack access to reliable information. The system is setup against them. It’s absolutely appalling. Something must be done to address this systemic racism.”
Fatigue, proper licensing, and the condition of the van have already begun to emerge as possible factors. A police investigation into incident continues.
CUPE’s health and safety branch will monitor reports from the investigation.